Culture

(Return to the Contents Topics page.)

Laffer-Curve Ideation: No Laughing Matter  –  When Bush the Elder dubbed Reaganomics “Voodoo Economics” during the 1980 primary season, he knew it could not work without the intervention of an invisible mysterious force, the very definition of supernatural agency, and thus was essentially a religious belief system.

Of Nuts and Sluts, No Ifs, Ands, or Buts  – With the radical religious right so vehemently attacking women these days, it’s difficult to understand how any woman could vote for any Republican candidate.

And God’s Choice For President Is . . . . – The full national jolt from Santorum’s personification of the theocratic urge may be exactly what we need to take that first important step away from the divine in government.

Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch? – Some of us thought that witches and witchcraft had faded from our electoral process with the fading of Sarah Palin; not so, as it turns out.

The Divided States of Christian America? – In the Supreme Court’s 2001 Good News Club decision the Court redefined “religion” as “viewpoint” enabling a religious sect, on free speech grounds, to occupy a public school for the express purpose of proselytizing children inn their radical belief system.

Personhood?! You wouldn’t recognize a person if she kneed you in the groin – Mississippi and Herman and Joe, you’ve got it backwards.  Personhood means that humans come first, souls and gods and religions second.

Fear the People  – Republican candidates adhere uncertainly to top-down truths in a bottom-up world.

The Birthers Are Back – The irrational Birther challenge to Barack Obama’s legitimacy reflects not only prejudice and racism, but also a proclivity to accept desired beliefs on raw faith, undisturbed by fact and inquiry.

An Encounter With the FLDS Subculture, Part 1 – A conversation with Zeke outside a guarded, gated compound in Hildale, UT.

An Encounter With the FLDS Subculture, Part 2 – A conversation with Robert at a nearby supermarket.

Why Perry Will Win: You’ve gotta be like-Reagan!

Glib Is Not Wise: The power of the human voice to shape our ideas and beliefs leads to much trouble, for glibness is readily mistaken for wisdom.

Christopher Hitchens is Right, Part 2: Atrocities justified by by any religion, including Christianity, expose a darkness at the heart of all religions that cannot be rationalized away by denial.

Christopher Hitchens Is Right: How religious ideation harms society by impeding beneficial social action, fostering unsubstantiated belief, and sharpening and rigidifying tribal distinctions.

Casey Anthony and the Debt Ceiling Fracas:  The growing “cult of personal feeling” results in a confusion of public and private interests, of personal beliefs and national values.  So the more-or-less uninformed beliefs of onlookers at the Casey Anthony trial become equal to the decision of jurors, laboriously selected to evaluate all of the carefully constrained evidence; and the inadequately informed views of nationally-elected representatives likewise obtain the same validity as the informed opinions of those who understand economic facts processes.  Thus, the previously unthinkable – default by the United States on its debt – becomes possible.

The Dangerous Illusion of “Liberal” and “Conservative”: These words are not carriers of facts we can share, but indications of emotions that may be triggered in those who hear them; they create illusions that inhibit our ability to find common ground upon which to solve urgent national problems.

The Tribalism Problem: Tribal allegiances preclude common ground on important matters of public interest.

Unplugging to Reality, Part I: As the economy worsens, we seem locked in a fantasy “Matrix,” a self-centered belief system that mirrors the cult of unfettered capitalism and obscures the economic danger.

Unplugging to Reality, Part II: In the economic “Matrix,” we are fed the illusions that we are all in this together, and that the economy and recovery are better than they really are.

Unplugging to Reality, Part III: In the economic “Matrix,” the fantasy of Reaganomics infects policy, obscuring the continuing impoverishment of non-wealthy classes and the catastrophic effects Republican economic plans will soon have for everyone but the wealthiest Americans.

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